Apple’s opening keynote Monday for WWDC 2020, its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, started with Tim Cook addressing the empty auditorium about Black Lives Matter and coronavirus before it launched into the announcement of iOS 14 and its home-screen redesign and new widgets. Thus far, we’ve heard about the new iPadOS 14, MacOS Big Sur, TV OS and WatchOS updates as well. Public betas will start next month, and as usual ship in the fall.
But the big news was Apple’s highly anticipated move to Arm-based chips away from Intel, intended to deliver better performance at lower power consumption than before, a (presumably) Metal-optimized graphics processor and other custom acceleration silicon. New systems will ship by the end of 2020, and the Apple silicon will roll out across the rest of the Mac line over the next two years.
- WWDC: Microsoft 365, Adobe Creative Cloud will support new Apple Arm chip
- Apple’s own apps like Final Cut will support Mac Arm from Day 1
- Developers will be able to order a kit with the mac Mini running an A12Z this week
- But it hasn’t broken up with Intel
- Apple’s new Arm-based Macs will run iPhone, iPad apps
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All of the Big Sur Apple apps are written to support the new custom Apple processors, and Apple claims that support is just a simple recompile for developers (or at least within a couple days). Partners like Adobe and Microsoft will also be onboard with their apps at launch. And the company claims the performance will be great. Rosetta 2 will automatically recompile older apps when you install them. Catalyst-compiled iOS and iPadOS apps and games will run natively starting on Day One.
Apple iOS 14 brings new ways to organize your home screen…
More magic for AirPods! Smart switching the connection across devices comes to our rescue, and AirPods Pro gets spatial audio using a gyro and an accelerometer to track your head movements. It supports multiple spatial standards. Apps will provide more granular options for location tracking and give developers a way to show you more detail about what they’re capturing.
We also saw a preview of the new Apple TV Plus show, Foundation, based on Isaac Asimov’s classic sci-fi book series.
Better multiuser support in TVOS lets you pick up where you left off in a game, and it now supports Xbox Elite and Xbox Adaptive controllers. Apple TV Plus has lots and lots of screens under its belt.
There are new capabilities for Siri, including a Google Translate-like app for live conversational translations. Messages, too, gets much-needed updates with the ability to pin messages, improvements in group conversations, and more looks for Memoji customizations.
Apple debuts Messages for iOS 14 with new Memoji
Maps, too, has new features, such as cycling navigation for more cities, and EV routing to alleviate worries about running out of juice en route. CarPlay “rethinks car keys.” They’re now virtual and shareable! App Clips come to the App Store for quick access to new apps and to link to apps from Safari and more.
For smart home, the Home app provides adaptive lighting, the ability to define activity zones for cameras, plus face recognition notifications from your doorbell across all the devices.
- WWDC 2020: With iOS 14, Apple redesigns the iPhone home screen
- Apple’s iOS 14 unveiled: A first glimpse at the upcoming iPhone software
- Apple introduces widgets to iOS 14 homescreen
- Apple Memoji gets face coverings amid COVID-19
- Siri will stay out of your way with a new design in iOS 14
- Apple jazzes up Messages with pinned contacts, mentions and in-line replies
- WWDC 2020: Apple introduces App Clips
- WWDC 2020: Apple adds cycling directions to Maps for iOS 14
- Apple adds virtual CarKeys to iOS, coming first in BMW 5 Series
- Apple unveils minor CarPlay update at WWDC 2020
- Apple WWDC: Maps adds EV Routing to help minimize range anxiety
- Apple brings streamlined smart home controls to HomeKit in iOS 14 later this year
- Apple’s WWDC 2020 privacy updates wants to tell people how apps are tracking them
- Apple updates Siri with new UI and adds 11 languages
App Clips get you the apps you need right when you need…
You’ll find the same redesigned widgets as iOS 14, but iPadOS improves Photos navigation with a sidebar; the sidebar design has also been integrated into several of Apple’s own apps, with tapping and dragging. Compact notifications for incoming calls and more won’t obscure your screen — that’s in iOS as well. Search has been redesigned to work from anywhere and to operate more like Spotlight on the desktop.
And finally, the new Scribble app provides handwriting recognition note-taking for use with Apple Pencil and the ability to cut and paste more intelligently, as well as the ability to write into text fields — very Windows 10-like. It can recognize different languages as well.
- Apple announces new iPadOS 14
- Apple Scribble will let you write in text fields instead of typing
- WWDC 2020: iPadOS 14 will allow you to change default email and browser apps
MacOS Big Sur
A complete redesign will greet you when you update to the newest MacOS version, though you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a pretty subtle change. The same Photos design from iPadOS comes to MacOS, as do many of the app updates that we’ll get in iOS and iPadOS. Control center in the menu bar, widgets and notification center is more sophisticated as well.
Mac Catalyst, the tool for porting iOS apps to MacOS fleshes out some of the capabilities to make it more natively MacOS-like. Safari will be faster at loading frequently visited websites and enhanced privacy features, including more granular controls over how long the privileges you’ve granted a site last.
- Apple announces new MacOS Big Sur operating system
- Apple will move HomeKit more deeply into your smart home in iOS 14
Customize your Apple Watch face with multiple complications — customizing is easier, too — plus there are some new faces. You’ll be able to share faces, as well. Your body will also appreciate the new Dance app to jazz up your workout. At the other end of the spectrum, it adds sleep tracking. With the new OS, the Watch will be able to track your handwashing as well.
- WWDC: Apple unveils WatchOS 7
- Apple Watch Face Sharing opens up options, somewhat
- Apple Watch will track dance workouts with WatchOS 7
- Apple Wind Down mode wants you to get to bed on time
- Apple Watch will help you wash your hands better
Apple reimagines AirPods Pro with advanced surround sound